According to an article in WND, a public school in Colorado, Cherry Creek School District, is no longer doing class ranks and they no longer have a class valedictorian.

There are some things in life where there are definite winners and definite losers.  Playing casino games, and visiting the site jackpot casino login is one example.  You play a hand of poker with a group of people, someone is going to win the hand, and someone is going to lose the hand.

But then you play the next hand, and somebody else wins and somebody else loses.  It is a form of competition, friendly competition, especially when you are playing in-person poker with a group of friends with great food and great drinks.

Sometimes in schools, classmates do a friendly competition with each other.  A group of students are working through a self-paced activity that has levels and lessons.  Yes, sometimes it gets tedious and boring, so the kids create a friendly competition of “Whoever finishes last buys the pizza”.  When it goes right, the friends help each other get over the finish line.

The problem is when it does not go right.  When the competition is so fierce that kids sabotage other kids’ work, so they will “beat” the other person.  So some schools are getting rid of class rank, because this form of competition is unhealthy.  Some parents (and students) do not see a problem with getting rid of class rank, so students are just competing with themselves.  While other parents (and students) do not think that getting rid of class rank is a solution.

Why are parents complaining about no class rank?

I am not sure what exactly is going on with this.  The parents are complaining that students who “just pass by 1 point” and the same as a straight-A student.  That makes no sense.  Even if there is no class rank, there is still a person’s GPA (grade point average).  A straight-A student is going to have a higher grade point average than a student who passes their classes by just one point.

In my high school, there was a class rank.  With the exception of the class valedictorian, does class rank really affect college admissions?

Grades and test scores are obviously the most important factors in college admissions.  Your college essay and teacher recommendations are also important.  For some schools, extracurricular activities is also taken into account.  According to, “Class rank was once a major component in admission decisions. But according to a recent report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), more than half of all high schools no longer report student rankings”

“Most small private and competitive high schools have done away with it because they feel it penalizes many excellent students who are squeezed out of the top 10 percent of the class and then overlooked by elite colleges. Although most public high schools still rank students, some now make it optional for students to report their rankings to colleges.”

“Most large state universities, however, still require applicants to report class rank (as do many scholarship programs) and rely on it to help sort through the high volume of applications received.”

So, for the class valedictorian or a student in the top 10 or a student in the top 10%, class rank is meaningless.

What are colleges looking at?

If colleges are moving away from class rank, then what are they looking at?

  • Student’s GPA
  • Activities student was involved in
  • High school curriculum
  • Range and median of student GPAs
  • Range and median of SAT and ACT scores
  • Results of AP Exams
  • Grade distribution of the class (the percentage of the class receiving As, etc.)
  • Student portfolios (with writing or project samples)
  • Personal recommendations from teachers or counselors describing specific attributes, behaviors, skills and achievements
  • Listing of colleges and universities that accepted students from the previous year

If a student goes to a school where a majority of students are A and B students, does class rank truly reflect the placement of a student compared to his/her peers?

Is an A the equivalent to an A?

In terms of difficulty, a student taking Business Math is not at the same level of difficulty as a student taking AP Calculus.  Most high schools try to resolve this, by giving weights to more difficult classes.  Instead of grade points being

  • A = 4.0
  • B = 3.0
  • C = 2.0
  • D = 1.0

Honors classes get the weight of

  • A = 4.5
  • B = 3.5
  • C = 2.5
  • D = 1.5

AP classes and other non-AP college equivalent classes get the weight of

  • A = 5.0
  • B = 4.0
  • C = 3.0
  • D = 2.0

Since most schools are following this same standard for grading classes, most colleges understand what these weighted GPAs mean.  It also helps to encourage students to take harder classes, so a student does not just take a bunch of easy classes to get that 4.0 GPA.

Can a High School Portfolio help with college admissions?

Of course, a high school portfolio can help with college admissions.  And yes, a portfolio can help with getting a job, so don’t stop working on your portfolio while in college.

A portfolio should showcase the student’s strengths, interests, individuality and hobbies. It should show how well-rounded a student is and how the student is someone beyond academic grades.

Here is some things to take into account when creating a portfolio, especially for college admissions:

First, follow directions.  If the college has specific requirements for submitting a portfolio, follow those instructions.  And, most important, don’t forget the submit your portfolio before the deadline.

Second, provide your best examples.  Include your most outstanding writing samples, best artwork, or best videos.  The same would be true for examples of programs, and technical pieces of work.  Did you solve a very hard math problem that you are very proud of, that can be included in your portfolio.

Third, go visual.  This is 2022, you are not restricted to just text.  If you feel that creating a video can help show yourself off, go for it.  But like other stuff, you include in your portfolio, it should represent your best work.  A half-done video is worse than no video.

Fourth, take advantage of online resources.  There are websites to help organize your portfolio, but your portfolio can be as simple as a WordPress website.  There are ways to set it up, so your WordPress site is not indexed in Google, so a person needs the actual URL to access the website. Another option may be to create a username and password that you just use for college applications.

Fifth, begin early and plan ahead.  Your college portfolio is something that you can begin at the beginning of high school.  I would recommend, at the end of each month, pick your best work.  Then at the end of the term, go to those “best works” and pick the best from those.  Same at the end of the year, and then finally, at the end.  The point is to give yourself options without there being too many options that will overwhelm you.

Six, don’t forget your transcript.  This is not only an official document that colleges will definitely want to see, but it can also be a way to help you make sure that you did not miss including something from a class that you want to show off.

What is the Montessori Method of grading?

Montessori students typically do not get letter grades or number grades for their work.  Montessori schools instead do a skills-based report card.  Each skill is listed on the report card, and then each item is designated with the following notation:

  • WT – Working towards the level expected
  • WW – Working within the level expected
  • WB – Working beyond the level expected

When I have used this style of report cards, I also included

  • Date skill introduced (can’t grade a student for something they have not yet learned).
  • Date student says skills are mastered.
  • Date teacher confirmed skills have been mastered.

If you are teaching a class where a student has to know previous knowledge before moving on to the next item, this may be the approach to take.

What is rubric grading?

A rubric is a grading guide that makes explicit the criteria for judging students’ work on discussion, a paper, performance, product, show-the-work problem, portfolio, presentation, or an essay question.

From the student’s perspective, it lets the student know what the teacher expects from the student.  Do you expect the student to run their essay through Grammarly?  If so, then the rubric specifically says so, and what points will be added to the grade if they do that.  Do you expect the student to have headings in bold?  It is on the Rubric.  Are certain items supposed to be included, for example, “foods an animal eats” and “if any other animals eat that animal”?  Rubric takes care of the whole “I did know I need to include that” excuse.


The most important thing with education is that the student is learning.  It does not matter if we are talking about a high school student, a college student, an adult student, or some other student.  If you are worried about college admission, a transcript (with your GPA), standardized test scores, a great essay, and a portfolio to demonstrate what makes you different than the other applicants is what really matters.

When everything is focused on class rank, students are forced to compete with each other.  But in reality, in the real world, you have to learn to work with your teammates (your classmates).  Are there going to be times when you are going to complete with your teammates?  Of course, there is only 1 promotion and 5 teammates.  Who gets the promotion and who doesn’t?  But other times, you need to work with your team.  If a company wants to encourage teamwork, bonuses should be based on the performance of the team.  Or bonuses should be based on how each individual has performed in their own work, regardless of how others have performed.

But class valedictorian is so ingrained in many schools that even if a school does not do class rank, they may still designate a class valedictorian.